Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant is located on a 3,423 acre reservation in McCracken County in Kentucky, approximately 15 miles west of Paducah. The Atomic Energy Commission acquired the site in 1950. The plant was built in 1951-1954 and has been in continuous operation since startup. It consists of four main process buildings and is the largest of the three DOE gaseous diffusion plants (Portsmouth and K-25), having the capability of using 3,040 megawatts. The four major process buildings contain 1,760 process stages, along with common feed and product withdrawal facilities. As intended, the plant operated mainly as a stripper plant for the Portsmouth and Oak Ridge gaseous diffusion plants, whereby Paducah shipped products to Portsmouth or Oak Ridge for further enrichment. Production is ongoing at the Paducah site. In May 2001, U.S. Enrichment Corporation (USEC) consolidated its uranium enrichment operations at Paducah. The following year, transfer and shipping operations were also consolidated at Paducah. They are also doing some DOE legacy cleanup. Currently, plant management at Paducah is divided between the U.S. Enrichment Corporation and a number of contractors including: Swift and Staley (Infrastructure); Paducah Remediation Services (Portage and Shaw) (Remediation Contractor); and Uranium Disposition Services (Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Plant).

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